Mario Lopez to Strut his Stuff in ‘A Chorus Line’

God, I hope he gets it… right. Does the world really need a muscle-bound TV personality (who paid his dues on Kids Incorporated and shot straight to C-list fame with Saved By the Bell) to step into the acclaimed New York company of A Chorus Line? Mario Lopez will make his Broadway debut as Zach, the director of the show-within-a-show who persuades auditioning dancers to talk about their personal lives.

Lopez’ career has been all over the map for years, but you gotta wonder, how did Slater end up in A Chorus Line? At first I thought Lopez was too young for the role of Zach, but don’t let his baby-face fool you — he’s in his mid-30s. When he partnered with ballroom champ Karina Smirnoff on a certain ABC talent contest, his talent as a dancer was obvious. And I don’t doubt he’ll be comfortable giving direction and choreography to more experienced Broadway veterans (for proof, see this clip of Lopez on Megan Mullally’s short-lived chat show). However, it’s always going to be risky to cast a famous name in the role of Zach, since the point of this musical theater masterpiece is to focus on the usually anonymous chorus gypsies. (That’s why scripting more Zach screen time for marquee star Michael Douglas helped torpedo the 1985 film version, although the Cassie flashback wigs must share the blame.)

I can only guess that the Broadway production’s creative staff began thinking of Lopez as Chorus Line material after his name recognition rose with each passing week on Dancing with the Stars; they probably envisioned him as Larry (the legwarmered assistant who drills the dance steps), or Paul (the shy Puerto Rican dancer), or Al (the buff guy whose wife can’t sing). But then they must have seen this cheeze-explosion (clip below) from the Oxygen original movie Husband For Hire, and said to each other, "Ummmm, yeah. He should play the guy who’s not on stage very much."

PopWatchers, do you think Lopez has what it takes to be a Broadway star?

 

 

Comments (17 total) Add your comment
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  • Stephanie T.

    So who is he supposed to be playing? Mike or Paul?

  • Stephanie T.

    Oh I misread, Zach. Yeah that is tough. I thought that Zach would be in his late 30’s early 40’s?

  • Tiffiani Amber

    I would like a Saved By the Bell musical to come to Broadway LOLOL

  • Snarf

    If he can sing (even a little bit) then yes.

  • Stephanie T.

    Don’t Laugh, in the 1990’s there was an Off Broadway show based on every episode of the Brady Bunch. Melanie Hustle the actress who played Jan was so convincing that she had made apperances as Jan on SNL and eventually became a cast member.

  • paige

    its so strange… my bf wants to go see a chorus line and i plainly said NO THANK YOU. that is, until I heard Slater was gonna be in it- I called him immediately and I told him we were going- he has no idea why i had a change of heart

  • CMU

    Holy Awkward Dance Sequence, Batman! Why was he dancing? What was happening in the plot for that weird scene to occur? Anyway…I think he could be good; this clip is just evidence that he fell victim to a craptastic production. He is a talented dancer, despite the weirdness displayed here.

  • escargot

    The character of Zach is mostly a voice from off-stage, so his singing and dancing ability is a non-issue. I can see him as Al, though or “I Can Do That” Mike.

  • Broadway Fan

    Did you know that during Mario’s rehearsal for his Broadway opening, he felt intimidated by Nick Adams, the hot guy who plays Larry, so they made Nick move to the back and put on a swearshirt. Check out Nick at Nickadams.biz. I saw him in the show. He is soooo hot and a terrific dancer. Too bad, Mario. Get over it.

  • Nicole

    I went and saw him in “A Chorus Line” on april 19th. HE WAS AMAZING. I was sitting in the front row and he was really good and HOTTT!!!!!!!

  • Nicole

    I went and saw him in “A Chorus Line” on april 19th. HE WAS AMAZING. I was sitting in the front row and he was really good and HOTTT!!!!!!!

  • Nicole

    I went and saw him in “A Chorus Line” on april 19th. HE WAS AMAZING. I was sitting in the front row and he was really good and HOTTT!!!!!!!

  • Tim
  • Tim
  • Fred
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